We need to do our part.
The senseless events involving our African-American neighbors, friends, family members, and co-workers, all too common these days, are representative of continuing disparities in our society. This forces us to think in ways and have conversations that bring us out of our comfort zone and galvanize constructive change. They have inspired me, as Director of the Center for Electroneurodiagnostics (CEN), to take a hard look at our own efforts to foster inclusion and embrace diversity–making sure we are doing our part.
While rich in the requisite clinical content, CEN prepares students to provide treatment governed by undeniable patient’s rights and compassion. In line with this, we will further complement existing coursework with additional focus on the ethical, fair and compassionate treatment of patients regardless of race, religion, gender, background and physical or mental condition. This is not a choice but a requirement and an expectation.
At the core of CEN’s mission to educate the next generation of END clinicians lies the idea of leveraging “opportunity” to build a career. Perhaps the most important conduit to this type of opportunity is education. It is paramount for us to champion access to education if we are to promote access to opportunity.
As a society, we need to create and foster educational equity–defined by the Achievement Network as high-quality instruction and support provided to all students to reach a common goal or standard. The communities that possess the highest populations of underprivileged/disadvantaged minority youths tend to have the poorest access to proper educational resources and educator talent. And, those who do attend and meaningfully engage with secondary/higher educational institutions often rely more on external financial support such as student loans and institutional financial aid. But, while we are proud that our school is focused on vocational education and, certainly, committed to inclusivity for anyone interested in the patient-care practice of surgical neurophysiology, we feel that we can do more to foster educational equity to promote further diversity in our student population and, ultimately, in the population of electroneurodiagnosticians.
To this end, it is with pride and excitement that the leadership of CEN announce the Evoking Potential Initiative. This will consist of a scholarship intended to support the educational and vocational aspirations of underserved and disadvantaged minorities. One scholarship will be awarded to a prospective student each enrollment period who meets the current requirements to enter CEN, who demonstrates financial need, a history of community service and leadership, and who articulates the impact they would like to have with this new capability. This scholarship covers 100% of the cost of tuition for those who do not have the means in an attempt to promote diversity and bring balance toward equitable access to opportunity for all.
To learn more about CEN’s flagship Introduction to Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring program, please click here: https://electroneuro.org/programs/
We are incredibly humbled by the struggles that are increasingly (and rightfully) coming back into the light and hope that even this modest effort on the part of CEN will help uplift African-Americans and other underserved and disadvantaged communities in our country and around the world.